The Holy and Sure Way to Faith
Translated from the German
John 17:3 This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom thoufh hast sent.
- This is the Way of Faith, in which I live; the Truth which I have learnt from the holy Scripture, and which is sealed up in my Heart by the holy Spirit; the race which I run, in order to be preserved from every false way, and to obtain the prize of life.
- I acknowledge myself to be a poor and wretched worm, who by original sin and actual sin has merited God's wrath and displeasure, temporal death and eternal damnation.
- But the Son of God, CHRIST JESUS, has given himself for me, and through his blood has reconciled me unto his Father, for that GOD does not impute to me my sins; but imputes to me for righteousness, that I believe in the name of his only begotten Son.
- Through this faith I am in truth justified; and the holy Spirit has filled my heart with it.
- In this justification I have found peace with GOD; am a child of God; find comfort and joy in his grace; and know for certain, that I shall neither see nor tast death, but that I have eternal life, and am passed from death to life.
- Now, God having thus received me into his grace, by faith in his Son JESUS, I am not at one time justified, and another time not; but am always and constantly in God's favour, and carry the witness of the sonship of God, to wit, the holy Spirit, in my heart.
- Notwithstanding, I am very far from thinking myself without faults and infirmities; nay, on the contrary, I know that hey are innumerable, which God daily sets before mine eyes; and believe for certain, that the secret ones are still more. But since I am in CHRIST JESUS, and he is in me, these faults and infirmities are not imputed to me, but God bears with them, and overlooks them in me, as a father in his beloved child.
- Yet his grace does not make me secure, but awakens me daily, to be more and more renewed in the spirit of my mind.
- For GOD, who works in us every good thing, fills my heart with filial ferar and genuine trembling before his holy Majesty, which keeps me from sinning on the score of his mercy.
- He purges me as a branch, that I may bring forth fruit.
- I am clean indeed through the Word which CHRIST JESUS has spoke and I have nelieved. This is no fancy, or a false application. CHRIST has in truth loved me, and washed me from my sins with his blood. My salvation is real in the remission of sins.
- GOD has let me feel my corruption, and given me grace to know my natural ability; and thereupon has shown me his mercy, and himself wrought faith in my heart.
- Whatever I have thus seen and heard, and by spiritual experience learned, I am more sure of than of that which my bodily eyes see, my bodily ears hear, and my bodily hands handle.
- God himself has taught me to distinguish between nature and grace, light and darkness, fancy and reality.
- God is not only faith ful to forgive us our sins, but also just, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Therefore I also do confess my sins and righteousness before him, and desire to be cleansed from them more and more.
- Which is done in this manner; I war and fight against sin; but not in my own strength, but byu the holy Spirit, who dwells and works in me.
- In the faith of JESUS is my beginning, middle and end.
- In so much as I cease from all my own workings, and am convinced, that of myself I can do nothing but sin, and myself cannot come nearer to GOD and his light, but depend purely on God';s grace, and look upon the lamb of God, which takes away my sins, and in his blood draw near to the Father; my heart gets new strength, that I feel faith in my heart, like a heavenly light and firem taste of the love of Christ; and the new man, as a good tree, breaketh out in blossoms, which send forth a sweet odor, and bear fruits that are acceptable to GOD and man.
- It is not another way by which I have been justified, and again another way by which I seek to be sanctified; but it is on one and the same way, to wit, CHRIST, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
- As I depend on nothing but Christ whenever I pray for forgiveness of sins; so I depend on HI alone, and turn to his grace and power only, whenever I desire to be strengthened in faith, love and hope.
- Yea, and all that I have to do, is, to abide but in the grace which I have received, and in the new understanding which the Son of God has given me to know Him that is Truth, and to be in Him that is True, and not depart from it; then the work of God will be accomplished in me; for GOD wants none of my help for the accomplishment of his work.
- If I do but suffer myself to be prepared by Him, like a child in the mother's womb, not resisting the operations of his Spirit; then he himself will work in me whatever is pleasing to Him.
- Nevertheless, it is by no means his will that I should be inattentive; and instead of true resignation, fall into negligence, or seek rest and peace in nature; For thereby I should , even imperceptibly, lose his workings
- His living Spirit will work constantly and without ceasing; and whoever does not suffer his streams to flow continually, cannot say that he does not resist his operations.
- Yet he wearieth no one by his workings. For he worketh by a soft and agreeable breathing; and by his power, it is not difficult for a soul which knows its justification in the blood of the Lamb, to soar high with the wings of faith and love.
- To the humble the LORD is kind: for all the graces of the Holy Spirit flow in the valley of the humble heart.
- But true humility is grounded in and rooted in the justification by grace. As long as man knows of nothing in himself, and yet finds everything in CHRIST, his heart lives in heavenly peace, and is comforted and strengthened by GOD: whereas, as soon as the heart lifts itself up, and does not seek and find its salvation purely in the forgiveness of his sins through Christ, a man steps aside in a false way, which is full of uneasiness
- However, GOD has also his hours for temptation and humiliation. And, to the end that secrets of a man's heart may be manifest to him, he must go through many trials, although he does not go aside from the right and the straight way.
- But, how easy it is to turn aside from this narrow way! How easily may something settle itself in the mind, that one does not soon enough perceive, and which may draw a man from his filial simplicity, so that, thinking to mend the matter, he turns insensibly from the gospel to the law.
- The Gospel has an angelic simplicity; and makes a man child-like, and a sweet disposition towards all mankind. It is of great clearness, the brightest light, a pure stream of peace, a resting from one's own works, and enjoyment of GOD and his salvation.
- Happy is the man who does not suffer his aim to be removed; which can easily be done, if we do not look upon CHRIST alone, but upon the examples of other men; when, before the time we would be high-flyers, and great as to the new man.
- None can by taking thought, add a cubit unto his stature. The case is similar with respect to the inward man.
- Nature will fain go its own way; and sees no other means to attain to perfection, but by endeavouring to become something, But GOD goes a quite different way; For HE brings to naught that which is something, that he himself may be all in all.
- All which is comprehended in this one thing: Whoever believeth in the Son, hath eternal life.
- LORD JESUS, thy good Spirit lead us in the plain path!
Franke, August Herman, Choice Drop of Honey from the Rock of Christ: or, a Word of Advice to All Sinners. By Thomas Wilcocks. To which is added the Holy and Sure Way to Faith of an Evangelical Christian. Translated from the German of that excellent divine August Herman Franke, founder of the famous Orphan House at Hall in Saxony, Philadelphian. Printed and Sold by Henry Miller, in Race Street, MDCCLXXIV